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AlumNotes - Fall 2012

The following AlumNotes were submitted between Feb. 2012 and June 2012.

Robert Westling '65 has retired from the federal government after over 36 years of service. He has spent the past 11 years mostly working with supply and recruitment for the Border Patrol.

Fred Biery '70 who is the West Texas chief federal judge was named 2012 Jurist of the Year by the Texas chapters of American Board of Trial Advocates (TEX-ABOTA). The national board is made up of over 6,000 members, who can only join by invitation, with Texas having 16 chapters and more than 1,000 members. "TEX-ABOTA award recipients are held in the highest esteem and have reputations of being fair and ethical and people who have made significant contributions towards preserving and promoting the jury trial system," said Cay Dickson, executive director of TEX-ABOTA.

Kathie (Boyd) Zipf '71 and her husband Dan celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in July 2011. The loving couple has four grown sons and five grandchildren. After 14 years of teaching K-8 music at St. Joan of Arc School in Hershey, Pa. Kathie retired in June 2010. In August 2011 she was called back to serve as an aide in the pre-kindergarten class and she loves it.

Lael Cordes-Pitts '74 was honored this past fall by the Uptown Midland Business Professional Women as the 2011 Woman of Achievement. She also accepted a new position as executive director of The Henry Foundation in Midland after serving for over 26 years in the same position at Casa de Amigos, a local nonprofit social service agency. The agency's Board of Directors honored Lael at a reception in February and will name a stained glass window in the agency's facility, the Mabee Eastside Community Center, in her honor.

James Kirk '75 retired after 35 years as a choral director. He is currently the varsity boys’ basketball coach at Flagstaff High School in Flagstaff, Ariz.

James "Michael" Anderson '78 won in a landslide during the primary for District Attorney in Harris County, Texas. He will face a Democratic challenger in the general election this November.

Rev. Charles (Larry) Covington '79 was elected as president of the Board of Directors of the Texas Conference of Churches for a two-year term. Rev. Covington is a 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and is currently the pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church in Austin, as well as the Director of Ecumenism and Inter-Faith Relations for the RC Diocese of Austin.
Jeff Cermin '80 will serve as Blinn College's interim vice president of administrative services as of July 1, 2012. Jeff has been with Blinn for 11 years working in the accounting and business offices on both its Brenham and Bryan campuses. Prior to coming to Blinn, Jeff spent 17 years in the banking industry.

Sarah Zimmermann '81 retired from teaching on May 31, 2012. She taught at public schools in Splendora, New Caney, and Burton, Texas.

Mark Etheredge '91 has been elected to the Lutheran Social Services of the South (LSS) Board of Directors. Selection for the LSS Board is based on demonstrated interest, expertise and involvement in serving LSS through its social ministries, and carrying out its mission of providing help. Mark is senior vice president at Nationstar Mortgage. He has more than 18 years of experience in financial, technology and project management.

Patricia "Patty" (Merriwether) '91 and Stern "Sterno" '92 Hatcher own and operate Hatcher Photography in Austin and plan to launch Photo Studio Operations also in Austin. Patty took a full-time position as faculty lead of Austin Community College's Humanities Division in August 2011 and is also co-lead faculty of record for the Free Mind Program in Austin.

Jeff David '91 and his wife Becky of St. Louis, Mo. proudly welcomed into the world their third son Cole Walter on Sept. 7, 2011. Cole joins his older brothers Cater and Owen. 

Michael Kohleffel '93 along with his wife have recently purchased Rockport Tours in Corpus Christi. You can check out their business at rockporttours.com or on Facebook.

Whitney (Thurman) Cargill '94 and her husband John along with big sister Savannah Jewel welcomed a new addition into the family. Suzannah Thurman Cargill was born on March 21, 2011 at 7:57 p.m. She weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20.25 inches long. The family resides in Kyle, Texas. 

Kendall Prinz '96 recently accepted a faculty position as assistant professor of low brass and instrumental music education at Northwest Missouri State University. His responsibilities will include teaching the trombone, euphonium, and tuba studio, as well as teaching several courses in the music education curriculum. Kendall is leaving his position of seven years at Taylor Middle School in Texas and will be relocating his family to Maryville, Mo. in late July 2012. 

Vance Blackfox '99 was appointed new director of Youth in Mission at The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in June 2012. Vance has served as director of youth ministries in congregations in Chicago, California and Texas. He has also led mission and cultural immersion programs to sites in the U.S., Palestine, Mexico and Zimbabwe.

Mario '00 and Andrea Rodriguez welcomed their second daughter Sophia Gentry Rodriguez on Jan. 2, 2012. Mario was also recognized by the Kohler Company as 2011 Rookie of the Year for the Plumbing North Americas group.

Devin Koehler '00 would like to announce that his beautiful wife, Julia, carried for 37 weeks before delivering twin boys on Sept. 6, 2011. They were blessed to welcome Carter Lane 6 pounds, 14 ounces (left) and Cash Landon 7 pounds, 1 ounces (right). 

Ashley Matthews '03 is excited to announce that she completed her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in May 2012. In September she will begin work for McGuire Woods law firm in Charlottesville, Va.

Marina "Mimi" Veljanovska '04 is currently working as a legal consultant for the World Bank. She will begin a legal clerkship with the Superior Court in the District of Columbia in September 2012.

Kate (Hallford) Johnson '05 and husband Dwight welcomed their first child into the world on June 12, 2012 named Sawyer Elizabeth Johnson. They both are in love with their baby girl. 

Melissa (Wick) Trost '05 and Joel Trost would like to announce the birth of their second son, Cason. He was born Febr. 9, 2012 in San Antonio and weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. He was welcomed by his very proud big brother Rylan. The family resides near San Antonio.

Megan (Fielden) Lingo '05 and her husband Randall are the proud parents of Luke Christopher Lingo born on March 8, 2011. Luke weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 inches long.

Keli Rabon '06 is on the move again. Less than a year as chief investigative reporter at KVUE-24 News in Austin, she will head to Denver, Colo. Keli joins the prestigious investigative reporting team at KMGH-7, the Mile-High City's ABC affiliate. Denver is the nation’s 17th largest market. While a reporter at WLOX in Biloxi, Miss. Rabon won a national Edward R. Murrow Award, one of the highest honors in broadcast journalism, for a story she broke on foreclosed homes that were used for meth labs. 

Howard Crunk '07, local artist and sculptor, continues his work on larger-than-life renderings of Seguin's native birds in the park. The collection of birds he and others are making will be installed as part of the Walnut Springs Park Bird Sculpture Sanctuary during the summer of 2012.

Jonathan Bertsch '08 recently relocated to Alexandria, Va. and began working at the Washington Headquarters Services Department of Defense as a contract specialist.

Mariah Kilbourne '10 was named Ms. Wheelchair Texas 2012. She competed against nine other women from across the state for the honor. The Miss Wheelchair Texas Foundation is a nonprofit organization that strives to improve the lives of people with disabilities through its mission of advocacy and education. Mariah says she is grateful for the opportunity to serve a one-year term as an advocate for Texans with disabilities. She now advances to the national competition scheduled for August 2012 in Rhode Island. 

Jenna Davisson '10 was named assistant athletic media relations director with University of North Carolina at Pembroke after having served as an intern since 2010. Her duties include overseeing media relations for men's soccer, softball, and men's and women's cross country and track and field. She also serves as the producer for the Black and Gold Report, a weekly coaches show that airs locally and draws more than 7,000 viewers each week. Jenna was also awarded her master's degree in physical education from UNCP and finished the program with a 4.0 GPA and graduated summa cum laude in May 2012.

Caleb Hoffmann '11 is now assistant band director and drum instructor for La Vernia High School. He is grateful for all the support he received from people at TLU like Beth Bronk, Melissa Townsend, Mary Ellen Cavitt, and Doug Boyer, to name a few. Caleb is looking forward to starting a new life with soon-to-be wife Dani Lane.

Isaac Gonzalez '11 and his wife Brandi are happy to celebrate two years of marriage in May 2012 and their one-year-old baby boy Gideon.
Navy Seaman Kira Lea Crawford '11 completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill. in May 2012. During the eight-week program, Crawford completed a variety of training, which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety.

Victoria Hoppes '12 attended the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza in New Orleans this past February. Pictured in the photo are many faces of TLU including alumni; current students; campus pastor Greg Ronning; director of corporate, foundations and church relations Sam Ehrlich '99; and professor Heather Hansen.